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Governor, W.Va. health leaders continue to stress need for people to get booster shots

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 4:06 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:35 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Gov. Jim Justice and state health experts continue to stress the need for residents who were fully vaccinated for COVID-19 earlier in the year to get booster shots.

State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh once again noted the substantial gap between the number of West Virginians who have only received their initial series of COVID-19 vaccination shots versus those who have more recently received a booster shot.

“When we look at our highest vulnerable group – West Virginians over 50 years old; which account for 97% of our deaths – we see that there are about 550,000 that are fully vaccinated, yet we’ve only given out about 48,000 boosters,” Dr. Marsh said. “We know that boosting is critically important for us to have current immune status, not only for protection against death or hospitalization, which is really important, but to stop COVID from spreading so that we can get back to our normal lives.

“Given the criteria that the CDC has released, we believe that every West Virginian who wants a vaccine booster is eligible to get one,” Dr. Marsh added.

There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.

Per the latest CDC recommendations, individuals who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for a booster shot if it has been at least six months since they completed their initial series of shots and they fall into at least one of the following groups:

65 years and older

Age 18+ who live in long-term care settings

Age 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

Age 18+ who have underlying medical conditions

For individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.

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